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‘Thousands of flooded cars will need to be scrapped’

USA – Hurricane Harvey will have major impact on recyclers in Texas and beyond, according to Joe Pickard, chief economist at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI). ‘There is going to be increased scrap generation from households and businesses’, he confirms to Recycling International.

‘Thousands of flooded cars will need to be scrapped, homes and other buildings that were flooded will need to be demolished, generating additional scrap’, stresses Pickard. ‘Also, there are reports that flooding at 2 steel mills in the area has damaged significant volumes of steel inventories there, which may also have to be scrapped.’

While the temporary shutdown of local manufacturing facilities may put scrap demand and prime scrap generation on hold for a short period of time, in the long term the reconstruction efforts will require large volumes of metal and other construction materials, ‘which in turn will boost demand for scrap commodities’, it is expected.

Houston is a major transport hub and one of the top 15 ports for US scrap exports. The hurricane and floodings are causing major logistical challenges for scrap recyclers who are both transporting scrap through the Houston area and for exporters shipping scrap overseas from the port of Houston. However, according to Pickard, ‘it is too soon for us to say what the full extent of the hurricane will be on scrap supply, demand, and logistics’.

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